If you’ve been following my blog (and you should be) then you know my family and I took a brief trip to New York. We stayed at the Hotel De Point in College Point, Queens so we could be close to my in-laws. The hotel was fairly close to LaGuardia airport in the middle of a community with a mix of body shops and residential homes. Its sort of hard to describe the hotel as its located in a building that houses quite a few other business. When you enter the building you take the elevator to the second floor to enter the hotel. On the ground floor of the hotel floor there is a grocery store and buffet restaurant.
From what I understand the other restaurants and business in the building are owned separately from the hotel. We browsed the store before taking the elevator up to the hotel, there was maybe one other customer in the store and a young woman working at the checkout counter. The store employee didn’t greet us or even acknowledge our presence when we entered and didn’t look up from her phone as we left. That was rude but not necessarily racist…I’ll get back to that in a bit.
Once we stepped off the elevator on the second floor and entered the hotel itself we were greeted warmly by the staff. The Hotel De Point has a clean, modern design that my family and I all appreciate. It was like being in a different world compared to the store downstairs.. And the complementary coffee station never hurt anything.
We had to venture back down to the store on the ground floor to get some toothpaste and toothbrushes. We received no greeting on our second trip to this store and were treated to complete silence before, during and after making our purchase. No “thank you”… nothing. And this is where it gets just a bit racist… racist is a strong term, offensive may be more accurate.
Darkie, oops DARLIE toothpaste is one of the brands they sell.
So this toothpaste is hugely popular in many countries in Asia. It may not look offensive now, the packaging has been changed click here to see the original packaging and more infomation. It used to be called “Darkie” toothpaste and the picture was an image of what looks like a dark skinned black man or a man in blackface wearing a top hat and monocle. The packaging has been modified but its still offensive to me. On the back of the package under the word Darlie, written in Chinese, it still says “black person”…still offensive.
We left the grocery store and went upstairs to the large buffet restaurant creatively named “The Buffet” on the 4th floor. It was closed but there was a woman at the hostess stand. We wanted to ask her a few questions about the buffet but she just kept saying “Closed, we’re closed”, so we left. More cold shoulder.
Back on the elevator, down to the 3rd floor to KTV for a little Karaoke. I LOVE karaoke. Love it. Love love LOVE IT! I couldn’t wait to bless my family (and anyone within earshot) with a couple of songs.
We walked over to the hostess stand where three people that seemed to all work there were talking to each other, no other guests were in sight. Again, silence. We stood in silence for a bit, then I asked the young woman who seemed to be the hostess about the karaoke room rates posted on a sign. Most signs were written in Chinese with a little English so we could have used a bit of help. We received only yes and no answers, like we were in court and she was a hostile witness. We all stood in silence for a while longer to see if anyone would usher us to one of the rooms or help us in any way but we just got a lot more nothing. Clearly we were not welcome so we left, no karaoke for me that night.
The only other place in the building where we were welcomed was the complementary breakfast buffet on the top floor.
There’s a breakfast buffet (yes, another buffet) on the roof at the Hotel De Point, not much variety but enough to get the day started off right. Eggs, sausage, pastries, cereals, coffee, juice and freshly made waffles. This buffet was included in our hotel stay. The roof at the Hotel De Point was only open for breakfast at the time of our visit. Apparantly one too many late night parties got the rooftop lounge shut down in the evenings. It was in disarray when were there, not set up for dining but we went out to check out the view.
These were all separate businesses from the hotel so we don’t hold anything against the hotel. We did alert the front desk staff to our treatment and she seemed concerned and genuinely upset about our treatment. The staff at Hotel De Point was lovely, from maintenance to management everyone had a smile and a warm “Hello”.
JengNovember 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm (7 years ago)
Isn’t it weird that Colgate’s effort to change it was to replace one letter? Are we playing scrabble here?
They didn’t want to lose the brand’s market share??? that kind of cancels out their seeming better person effort to make a difference – it’s kind of NO difference and the money still goes to a nonChinese firm that causes racism from the Chinese upon Africans.Reply
JengNovember 1, 2015 at 10:58 pm (7 years ago)
Hi, I just found your post while looking for information on the supermarket that closed downstairs. I’ve only been to the supermarket and it’s not customary for anyone to say hi to people who walk in.
Thanks for posting photos of the hotel – there’s no ground floor lobby so it was very interesting to see.Reply
Demetra OvertonNovember 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm (7 years ago)
Hi Jeng, thanks so much for reading. I totally get that different cultures have different customs but I also learned that a smile is universal and really easy to give. I’ve been to shops run by people from different cultures and have received warm service even when its not customary.
Sharon WilliamsAugust 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm (8 years ago)
I am so sorry you and your family were treated in such a disrespectful manner. I witnessed this behavior in Houston Texas and I will not stand by “quietly” – no one should. We “all” should speak up when we witness this kind of behavior. We do not have to be rude or confrontational, but we cannot stand by andReply
condone it in any shape, form, or fashion. I LOVE your web site and am going through your recipes one by one 🙂
Demetra OvertonAugust 8, 2015 at 8:20 pm (8 years ago)
Thanks so much for reading Sharon!
JanNovember 6, 2014 at 8:40 pm (8 years ago)
it sounds like it’s both rude and racist. Very sad that you and your family had to deal with thatReply
ShautelNovember 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm (8 years ago)
You are a better person than I. I would’ve placed the toothpaste on the counter & walked out.Reply
sweetsavantNovember 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm (8 years ago)
Normally I would walk out but I really wanted to see the full extent of rudeness
Violet's Veg*n e-ComicsOctober 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm (8 years ago)
This is terrible! I hope it didn’t spoil your entire holiday. People are the worst 🙁Reply
sweetsavantOctober 31, 2014 at 7:00 pm (8 years ago)
It didn’t spoil our stay, though I really did want to Karaoke LOL! All in all we had a great trip, visiting my in-laws and taking a walk at the High Line park. I’ll post more about that soon. Thanks for reading!
Violet's Veg*n e-ComicsOctober 31, 2014 at 7:15 pm (8 years ago)
😀 I love Karaoke a lot. I have only ever done it twice, but it was great 🙂